It is commonly said that Mitsui Bussan Kaisha (hereafter MBK) increase its trade volume satisfactorily in its founding period, 1876-1896. The first purpose of this paper is to show the change in principal commodities in which MBK dealt by analyzing its profit and loss statements in 1877, 1881, 1885, 1889, 1893, and 1896. MBK dealt mainly rice in 1877, increased the transactions of coal from 1881, that of machinery from 1889, and that of raw cotton from 1893. However it showed a decreased rice trade from 1890. The three main goods in 1896, machinery, coal, and raw cotton, were established in this way. The second purpose is to analyze the activities of MBK's London branch. The City was the center of the world trade in the period under investigation. MBK appointed R.W. Irwin an agent in London in 1877, and established a branch there in 1879. He returned to Tokyo to become the adviser of MBK, and the branch began to employ foreign employees at the agency. At first the branch dealt mainly with rice exported from Japan. It also acquired business know-how about chartering, marine insurance, and trade finance in London. Foreign employees contributed significantly to the establishment of the branch, but their salaries were much higher than that of the Japanese branch manager, so they were all fired till 1883. The volume of machinery transacted by the branch began to increase from 1899, and soon machinery became its principal merchandise. The branch began to borrow from Kleinwort Sons and Co., the first class merchant banker in the City, in 1892. This fact signifies that the branch established credit there.
Kanebo was one of the major textile companies in prewar Japan. This paper analyzes Kanebo's industrial structure and organization. In 1941 when the Pacific War broke out the economy turnd more clearly into wartime economy. At the end of 1938, the Kanebo group already established a new company “Kanegafuchi Jitsugyo” (hereafter Kanejitsu) to cope with wartime regulations. This was one of the steps of a deeper reorganization of the group. The Kanebo group whose main business was textiles turned into an industry organized as two main businesses, the old Kanebo and the new war-oriented Kanejitsu. Later, in 1944 these two companies were integrated into one called “Kanegafuchi Kogyo” (hereafter Kaneko). During the wartime economy and the subsequent expansion of munition industries, why was it necessary for the group to merge and form one new company? The conclusions of this paper can be summarized as follows. 1. As the War advanced the wartime controls became more and more strict. These controls forced Kanebo's factories and equipments to be put to other uses. But, Kanebo was able to deal with these controls in the framework of its own group through its core subsidiary, Kanejitsu. 2. The wartime economy forced Kanebo's textile industry to shrink in Japan, though in the colonies there was a continuous expansion of the industry. As the textile industry became more militarized the group had to make major efforts to obtain various raw materials. 3. Kanejitsu was involved in mining, machinery, chemicals, and steel industries so on and had diversified so rapidly to supply the necessities of the military that the new company had become larger than Kanebo, its parentat the end of 1943. 4. With the application of the wartime regulations the framework of the administration of industries changed and the government controls increased. This forced the Kanebo group to move its center of administration from Kanebo to Kanejitsu, and at last these two merged to form a new company, Kaneko. 5. The textile companies at the time followed two patterns in dealing with diversification to meet the needs of the military. One, exemplified by Toyobo, used investment and indirect administration and the other, exemplified by Kanebo, used a reorganization of the group companies and direct administration.
The semiconductor industry dates from after the war, and it has developed remarkably since 1970's. It has such originality as no other industry has. The production of semiconductor of Japan had got ahead of the U.S. on the market share in the world in 1986. But, in 1993, between Japan and the U.S. these positions reversed again. Moreover, Korean companies has caught up with Japan, and a Korean company has won the first share of memory devices. We must define the characteristics of the semiconductor industry in order to make these process clear. The semiconductor industry dates from 1947, when the point contact transistor was invented. Germanium had been used as material of semiconductor at first. It is easily affected by intense heat. Therefore it is difficult to be used for military use, for example, a computer equipped on a rocket missile. The U.S. army expend a subsidy to develop silicon transistor and integrated circuit (IC) which are hard to be broken by intense heat. Consequently, the U.S. has developed earlier than other countries in this field. (Section 1) In Japan, there was scarcely military demand, therefore silicon technology was transferred from the U.S. later, and IC technology did not also develop until civilian demand for desk calculator and so on did. (Section 2) Generally speaking, the development of IC was towed by demand for desk calculator. At that time, however, the total sales of desk calculator hardly increased from 1973 to 1985. Because the price fell down rapidly though the quantity of output increased sharply. This price drop is caused by rising from high integration and ascent of yield rate. Moreover, appearance of technology to use integrated circuits in common amplified this effect. (Section 3) The phenomenon that the total sales is constant in spite of the sharp increase of the quantity appeared in not only desk calculator but also semiconductor devices. But, a case in the semiconductor is different from that in the desk calculator as semiconductor has repeated waves that is grounded on changes of generations under larger scale integration and higher function. The form of development of the semiconductor industry (called Waves of Semiconductor) have peculiarity as follows : First stage; the price of semiconductor manufactures tend to decline constantly according to the increase of cumulative outputs. But the total sales of the manufactures increase while the price is in higher level, because increase of the quantity is taken into account beyond price drop. Second stage; when the manufactures of current generation is main production, the total sales scarcely grow because the price falls sharply notwithstanding the favorable increase of the quantity of outputs. Third stage; when the price become calm in lower level, the demand of the current manufactures accord with saturation and then the generation is shifted toward new one. The quantity of outputs begin to decrease with gentle decline of the price, therefore the total sales decline too. (Section 4) The hypothesis of the Waves of Semiconductor explained as follows : since there is intense competition on current generation of the manufactures, manufacturers must proceed with R&D and investment against next one.